THIRUVALLUVAR (30 BC)

Tiruvallaur was a Tamil weaver by profession and Poet-Saint-Philosopher by heart.

He wrote “Tirukkural (Sacred Couplets)” on human thoughts and ethics. It is considered a masterpiece similar to John Milton’s Paradise Lost.

In this book, He classified problems of life under 3 parts: (1) Virtue (2) Wealth (3) Love and wrote 133 chapters on them.

Yes, one chapter is entirely dedicated to evils of desi liquor alone.

Notable Quotes from Tirukkural:

The wounds made by fire will heal, But the wound made by tongue will never heal.

Before badgering a weak person, imagine yourself before a more powerful man.

Real kindness seeks no return; What return can the world make to rain clouds?

Even the ignorant may appear very worthy, If they keep silent before the learned.

Determined efforts result in prosperity; Idleness brings nothing.

Learning is true imperishable wealth.

Let thoughts be always great and grant.

Why was Thiruvalluvar in the news?
Former HRD minister Smriti Irani says she’ll introduce Tirukkural in school syllabus and essay competition on his birthday in 2015.

January 15th – His birthday is a public holiday in Tamilnadu and Puducherry

His statue is to be installed in Moscow, Russia. We’ll reciprocate by installing a statue of Russian Poet Aleksandr Pushkin in Chennai.

While setting up Niti Ayog, Government said It’ll be guided by principles of Thiruvalluvar, Ambedkar, Vivekanand, et al.

T.CHENNAIAH (1912-1985)

Why in news?

16th November 2012 was his 100th Birthday. But the government took no initiative to celebrate. So His followers decided to observe the birth centenary in 2014.

T.Chennaiah was a Dalit freedom fighter from Kolar region, Karnataka

He was a member of Constituent assembly, Worked closely with Gandhi and Ambedkar.

He was part of the Vidurashwattha protest- infamously called “Jalianwallabagh of the South” because 9 people were killed in police firing.

Chennaiah actively campaigned for Goa Liberation, Karnataka unification

He served as a minister in Mysore Government; later Rajya Sabha MP.

Worked for Kolar region Development- irrigation reforms, hostels for poor students, etc.

C. IYODHEE PANDITHAR

Why in News? 

100th Death Anniversary in 2014.

C. Iyodhee Pandithar was a Dalit Social reformer of Tamilnadu. He ran a weekly – “Tamilan”, and supported Theosophical society’s founder, Colonel H.S. Olcott.

Pandithar reinterpreted Indian history and believed that Dalits were originally Buddhists, but Brahmins stigmatized them as ‘untouchables’ by after those Buddhists denounced the caste system.

He called them “Adi Dravidars”- original Dravidans and began “Dravid Buddha Sangam”.

He criticized Indian National Congress as “Brahmin Congress”. Later Dr. Ambedkar and E.V. Ramasamy Periyar too had a similar stand.

AYYANKALI (1863-1941)

Topic in news: 
⚫152nd Birth Anniversary and
⚫Modi gave a speech.

Ayyankali belonged to the Pulaya agricultural labor community of Kerala. He was a labor leader and social reformer. He Fought for Dalit rights in Travancore kingdom. But never allowed bitterness to creep into the social fabric.

Ayyankali formed Sadhu Jana Paripalana Sangham and Kayal Sammelan.

Gandhi was impressed with his work and came to meet him.

What Gandhi Said?

Ayyankali also formed Kayal Sammelan- to hold meetings in boats (1913)

Because the Travancore King did not allow Dalits to organize meetings on land.

This was a turning point in the Dalit movement, similar to Gandhi’s Dandi March.

What local leaders said?

No, Ayaankali did not form that organization. It was KP Kurrupan.

CHINNASWAMI SUBRAMNYA BHARATHI (1882-1921)

Freedom fighter, Poet, social reformer from Tamilnadu.

1907: 

During “Surat split” he joined the extremist wing led by Tilak and Aurobindo. (In other words, did not like the moderates’ ideas of prayer and petition).

Through his poem, he advocated women empowerment, caste reforms, social equity, and equality.

1908: 

French gave him political asylum in Puducherry (1908-1918). Composed patriotic songs and revolutionary poems for Aurobindo’s journals.

Also called “Mahakavi Bharathiyar”

The person in the news because BJP wants his Varanasi house to be converted into a national monument.

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